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Republican Rep. Mark Amodei speaks at Adam Laxalt's third annual Basque Fry presented by the Morning In Nevada PAC at Corley Ranch in Gardnerville, NV, August 26, 2017. Photo by David Calvert for The Nevada Independent

With negotiations on the next pandemic aid package dead for now, Rep. Mark Amodei lent his support Wednesday to President Donald Trump’s issuance of four executive orders to provide economic relief from the coronavirus’ downward push on the economy.

In three tweets, Amodei, the state’s only congressional Republican, called out Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for not compromising on reinstating the $600 a week supplemental unemployment insurance payment workers had received until the end of July. 

“Political gridlock solves nothing,” Amodei tweeted. “At the end of July, Republicans tried to extend unemployment insurance and Chuck and Nancy said no. It’s been nearly 2 weeks and there’s still no deal, no compromise, and no sign of action being taken on behalf of the American people.”

Republicans, including Amodei, wanted to reduce the $600 payment because it resulted in some workers making more from unemployment than from their jobs. The GOP said that it would make it harder for businesses to get their workers to come back. So Republican negotiators offered to cut the benefit to $400 a week through Dec. 15. 

But Pelosi and Schumer rejected the offer, demanding to keep it at $600. Trump issued his executive order Saturday after an effort to revive negotiations failed Friday. 

“So for those angered by the President’s recent executive action on covid relief which includes payroll tax cuts, preventing evictions, and extending UI & student loan relief, please remember that when leadership refuses to work together, the Executive Branch is forced to step in,” Amodei continued.

Trump’s executive orders, which Democrats and some Republicans believe are unconstitutional, include one that would provide workers receiving unemployment insurance an additional $400 a week if the state is able and willing to pay 25 percent of the cost. Another would defer payment of the payroll tax. The third calls on the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control to consider whether an eviction moratorium is needed. The fourth would defer student loan payments for loans held by the Department of Education through the end of the year. 

Nevada is exploring whether to pursue the $400 unemployment insurance supplemental payment program. 

Amodei also lamented that a deal could not be brokered given the need and that Congress has acted in a bipartisan fashion four previous times to provide aid.

“It’s incredibly disrespectful to all Americans when issues for the greater good are put on the back burner for partisan objectives,” Amodei said. “We’ve seen the results Congress can deliver when we work together: nearly $3T in #COVID19 relief so far. Americans cannot wait any longer.”

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